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Consumer confidence about affording health care rises

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 11, 2010

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Patients were feeling more certain in August about their ability to cover future medical care costs and were less likely to have delayed or canceled treatment in the past three months, according to the Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index issued Sept. 28 by Thomson Reuters.

Researchers analyzed surveys completed by a demographically representative sample of 3,000 households. The overall composite Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index was 99 in August. One hundred is the baseline, but it fell to 95 in July, a low point for 2010, so August was an improvement.

"This notable increase in confidence may signal growing optimism heading into the final quarter of the year," said Gary Pickens, PhD, chief research officer at the Thomson Reuters Center for Healthcare Analytics. "However, we will need to see similar results over the next several months before we can confirm a meaningful rise in consumer health care sentiment."

The August Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index report is available online (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/10/11/bibf1011.htm.

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